By Adam S. Sulfridge / Staff Writer
A North Carolina man was arrested Wednesday at a Williamsburg homeless shelter after allegedly stealing a car.
“Chief Bird received a call from a North Carolina department that was working an auto theft case,” said Public Affairs Officer Shawn Jackson. “It was determined through the investigation that the car might be in Whitley County…it was actually at the 13-mile marker on Monday.”
According to Jackson, Whitley County deputies and Constable Jim Thorton actually assisted the alleged criminal, who claimed he had run out of gas along I-75.
“They run the license number, and at the time it wasn’t reported stolen, but it was entered into the system yesterday (Tuesday) and what happened was the agency which reported it stolen received a delayed hit, which told them which department had last run the tag.”
Jackson said 47-year-old Clarence Octetree of Fuquay-Varina, N.C. lawfully rented the 2009 Chevy Cobalt but failed to return it. “The company tried contacting him multiple times, but he never returned their calls or the vehicle, and they entered it as stolen.”
“After some investigation, Lt. Caddell found the car parked outside Williamsburg Christian Ministries, and the suspect was there also… Lt. Caddell arrested him without incident. He was charged with receiving stolen property over $500 and lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center”
Jackson said Octetree purchased fuel and retrieved the car from where it had stopped along the interstate. As for what led Octetree to the Williamsburg homeless shelter, Jackson said, “He stated he was waiting on some kind of disability check or something.”